K&K Fermenting Pot Instructions

These English instructions for using the K&K Fermenting Pot were copied word for word directly from the booklet that is included with each K&K Fermenting Pot.

"Use a K&K fermentation crock pot to make your own pickles to keep you and your family healthy.

Pickles - a variant of raw food nutrition

Sauerkraut and pickles are made with out boiling the vegetables, so that heat-sensitive elements such as vitamins, enzymes and fatty acids - which your body does not produce - remain in the food.  Preparing food this way is good for young and old and protects against illnesses such as scurvy that result from malnutrition and particularly a lack of vitamin C. Pickles help fight arthritis, fatigue, bleeding gums, skin problems and muscular atrophy. They should be part of everybody's regular diet.

High standards from cleanliness

Cleanliness has top priority when making pickles, as only fresh and clean vegetables produce a high-quality healthy meal.

All K&K fermentation pots (and lid and two-part weight stone_ are made from stoneware. Stoneware is fired at 1,260 degrees C giving it exceptional properties. It has a pore density of around 3%, which means that the material - even without glazing - will not absorb water, effectively preventing mold from forming. Furthermore, all K&K stoneware pots are coated with a natural lead-free and cadmium-free slip glaze. The vessels can be cleaned with any commonly available detergent, as stoneware is absolutely resistant to all natural acids. Of course, the fermentation pot is also scratch proof, heat-resistant and dishwasher-proof.

The two-part weight stone

Traditional fermentation pots did not have a weight stone. To ensure the vegetables remained submerged in liquid during the entire fermentation period, they were covered with a wooden board, which could absorb water and therefore become contaminated with spores and bacteria. The stoneware weight stone, included with all K&K fermentation pots, is a cleaner solution.

The trick with the water channel

Cabbage and vegetables need to be cut off from the oxygen in the air during the entire fermentation process.  Fitting the lid into the water channel and filling the latter with fresh tap water creates a water seal. This prevents air from penetrating from the outside to the inside but, owing to the high pressure, excess gases such as carbon dioxide produced during fermentation can pass from the inside to the outside.

Pleas keep the water level in the channel under watch during the entire fermentation period. During the fermentation process the water must be continually topped up of fresh air can get in and spoil the fermenting vegetables.

The fermentation period - or how long do my pickles need?

Depending on the vegetables (soft to hard) and the fermentation method (just brine or adding whey or buttermilk to accelerate the process), fermentation can take between 3 (soft vegetables and/or using whey) and 6 weeks (hard vegetables or cabbage and using only brine).

Why does the fermentation pot make a gurgling sound?

Fermentation causes carbon dioxide to form. Over time, it displaces the air in the vessel. The gas creates high pressure and the excess air escapes to the outside through the water in the water channel, causing the gurgling sound. This sound indicates that fermentation has begun and is usually most frequent during the first 2 weeks.

K&K tips for the fermentation pot

- You can clean the fermentation pot with all commercially available detergents, as stoneware is absolutely resistant against all natural acids. Furthermore, the fermentation pot, the lid and the weight stone are dishwasher-proof.

- After the fermentation process 1/3 of the pickles are removed from the fermentation pot and transferred to a sealable plastic bowl, which is then placed in the refrigerator. It is only when this supply has been used up that the fermentation pot is re-opened and another 1/3 of the pickles is removed, since the finished pickles are also susceptible to bacteria.

- Pickles keep for a long time in the sealed fermentation pot, which is stored in a cool place. A storage period of a further 6 weeks is possible.

- Should your water channel already be empty after only a short time (1-3 days), this may be due to two reasons.

1. There is too little salt or salt water in the fermentation pot. To remedy this, open the fermentation pot and check whether enough liquid is present. Should there be enough liquid, (liquid covers the cabbage), add 1 teaspoon of slat to the fermentation mixture, Should not enough liquid be present, boil 1 liter of water with 15 gr of slat, let the salt water cool and then add it to the fermentation pot until the liquid covers the weight stone.

2, The lid creates too fine a seal to the bottom, with can result in negative pressure in the vessel due to progressive degassing. This negative pressure then draws the water into the fermentation pot. This can be easily be averted by placing a small stone in the water channel. However, it should be noted that the water must always exceed the lower edge of the lid, for other wise the vegetables will not be cut off from the oxygen (air).

- Do not fill the fermentation pot to the rim. During the fermentation period the vegetables spread slightly and fermentation gasses such as carbon dioxide are produced. These and the weight stone must always fit into the vessel. Because of this the fermentation pot should not be filled higher than 3-8 cm (depending on its size) below the rim.

Recipes

Sauerkraut

Ingredients: 6-10 kg white cabbage for a 10 litre fermentation pot, 50 gr salt, juniper berries, dill and caraway (other ingredients such as smoked ham, garlic and ginger can also be added to the individual layers according to taste).

Wash the white cabbage thoroughly and make sure that it is free of insects. Then dry the heads of cabbage. Remove the stalk with a special stalk remover or a knife. Be thorough. The stalk contains bitter substances that are best kept out of the sauerkraut as they strongly affect the taste. The slice the cabbage into fine strips.

Pulp the cabbage well in layers, as far as possible until the resulting liquid covers the cabbage. Scatter a little salt on each layer. Pulping can also be done in an additional vessel - such as a bucket - and the sliced and pulped cabbage is then transferred to the fermenting pot. This prevents cracking or shattering (for example, through a slip) of the fermentation pot from excessive pressure while pounding with the cabbage masher.

Between the individual layers add the desired extra ingredients such as juniper berries, dill, caraway or smoked ham. Lay two large clean leaves of the cabbage as well as the weight stone on the crushed cabbage.  The liquid must cover the weight stone. Should the natural liquid not be sufficient for this, boil salt water (approx. 15 gr salt for 1 litre water), let the water cool and then transfer it tot he fermentation pot until the fermentation liquid is approx. 2-3 cm above the weight stone.

Now seal the fermentation pot using the lid and fill the water channel. For the first 2-3 days the fermentation pot can be placed in a warmer environment (approx. 20 degrees C to start the fermentation process. Then store the fermentation pot - for approx, 5 weeks - in a cooler place (approx. 15 degrees C) out of direct sunlight. A spot under the stairs, the basement or a permanently closed store room is generally ideal. Leave the fermentation pot closed throughout the entire fermentation period and keep a close watch on the water channel.  The fermented sauerkraut in the fermentation pot should not be stored at temperatures above 12 degrees C.

To accelerate the fermentation process, add 1/4 litre of non-homogenised  buttermilk or whey to the fermentation mixture and the fermentation process will start faster, as the whey and buttermilk contain lactic acid bacteria, which reduces the fermentation period to approx. 3 weeks.

Wine sauerkraut

 You prepare wine sauerkraut just like ordinary sauerkraut, but add dry white wine instead of brine. to round off the taste we also recommend a few peeled and sliced apples.  For covering, use thoroughly cleaned vine leaves.

Russian sauerkraut, (Caucasian sauerkraut)

Ingredients: small, firm heads of white cabbage, celery roots and leaves, green tomatoes, onions, red peppers, garlic and peppercorns.

Chop up heads of white cabbage, place in layers in the fermenting pot together with the sliced green tomatoes, diced raw celery pieces, onion rings, cloves of garlic, and the sliced peppers. Boil a stock from a few celery leaves, some peppercorns and brine (25 gr salt per litre of water). Pour the stock - as soon as it is lukewarm - over the vegetables until the weight stone is covered. Russian sauerkraut needs to ferment for approx. 6 weeks.

Pickled beans

Ingredients: 6-7 kg beans for a 10 L pot, bean broth or salt water with 8 gr salt per litre, 1/4 litre whey to start the fermentation process.  Spices: dill, summer savoury, bay leaves and, if desired, caraway.

Pickle whole young beans if possible or, alternatively, older beans that are split or broken.

Remove the toxin phasin from the beans by boiling for 5 min. on low heat before fermentation. Make sure the beans do not get too soft. Then drain the boiling beans and allow them to dry.

After drying, place the beans in layers in the fermentation pot, adding spices between each later, 3-8 layers depending on the size of the fermentation pot.

Pour the whey over the layered beans and fill with bean broth or brine until the weight stone is covered. Ferment for 3 weeks.

Red sauerkraut

Prepare red sauerkraut just like ordinary sauerkraut. You can also enjoy red sauerkraut as a salad when onions, marjoram, thyme and garlic are added during preparation. Before serving it is generously sprinkled with oil and red sauerkraut salad is served with young potatoes in the skin.

Pickled cucumbers

Ingredients: medium long. firm cucumbers, cores must still be soft, onions, garlic, slices of horseradish, dill, tarragon, bay leaves, cloves, and horseradish leaves for covering.

Pour 1 liter of non-homogenized whey over the firmly layered and unchopped cucumbers and fill the remainder with salt water (25 gr salt per litre of water). The fermentation process lasts 3 weeks.

Beetroot

Grate the beetroot into fine piece. Otherwise the procedure is the same as for pickled cucumbers. Keep the fermentation pot closed for at lease 6 weeks.  Fermentation is very turbulent (a lot of gas is produced). Fill the fermentation pot to 2/3 of its capacity at most as the fermentation mixture requires a lot of space.

Celery

Grate the celery coarsely or moderately and do not allow it to stand, for otherwise it will be discoloured. For the ingredients and preparation, follow the prckled cucumber recipe. The fermentation period is 3 weeks.

Red peppers

Use late, firm-fleshed peppers sold in late autumn, as the earlier sorts become soft and unsightly.  Green and yellow peppers can also be used. Cut open peppers, scrape out the cores and cut into 1 cm strips, press into fermentation pot using spices such as garlic, bay leaves, pimento seeds, and slices of horseradish. Cover with vine tendrils or horseradish leaves. Pour salt water (25 gr salt for 1 litre of water) over the mixture. The liquid only needs to cover the eight stone slightly, since a large amount of broth is produced."

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